Rookie Mistakes: Installing Everything

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October 13, 2009 by Mike Hillwig

Prior to my coming to my current company, somebody had a great love of installing all SQL services on every server where SQL was installed.

This is such a pet peeve of mine, and frankly, it’s a rookie mistake. In my environment, almost all of our applications are off-the-shelf apps with minimal customization. Today I was looking at a web-based app that is an intranet type of collaboration application. The server had Reporting Services, Integration Services, Analysis Services, and Notification Services installed. This particular application barely makes use of the database services and is database agnostic. We could run this thing on Oracle or MySQL. It’s not going to need Reporting Services, and it certainly won’t need Analysis Services.

Extra services mean extra CPU and memory utilization. While it’s not much, these little things add up. And in case of the rare bit of malware that hits SQL server, only software that’s installed can be exploited.

In a perfect world, we would have an understanding of what our servers will be doing before installing the database server. Then we would install only what’s needed. Better yet, in my environment, the vendor’s installation instructions would specify what services to install. If SSRS, SSAS, SSIS, or SSNS aren’t mentioned, there probably is no need for them.

My boss might say “We might need them some day.”  He’s right. We might need them some day. And when that day comes, we can install them. Until then, we don’t.